“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.”
– Estee Lauder
Debbie lives by this quote. Originally from Argentina, Debbie found herself in Calgary designing clothing for companies on contracts that paid too little for her to live on.
“I felt really frustrated as I was working but didn’t have enough money to survive,” she says. She was working a few temporary jobs, dreaming of opening her own company with her own clothing designs. “I had great ideas, but I was fighting to get on my feet.”
As a new immigrant in Canada, Debbie knew that there was a lot of knowledge about starting her own business that she was missing. She had worked and lived all over Europe but coming to Canada was very challenging for her. “I felt really overwhelmed and I didn’t really know how to do anything,” she says. “I had to learn everything from scratch.”
Debbie was referred to Momentum through her personal network and started attending the Evening Self Employment Program. She got the tools she needed to get her business off the ground. “The coaching helped me a lot and I learned about import law, networking, and events,” She says, “Everything was beginning to come together.”
Debbie’s company, Deseo Designs, now sells high quality leggings that she designed in her workshop in Calgary. She sourced the manufacturer herself, conducted all the product research, and created her clothing to fit without compromising comfort. “You don’t need the perfect body, you need the perfect leggings,” she says.
After dreaming of striking out on her own for so long, Debbie finally has her business operating. “When I came to Momentum, this was just a dream. Now it’s a reality and everything is going really well.” She is also getting additional support from Momentum through the Passport program, a program that supports entrepreneurs to achieve specific learning goals.
Now that she is established, Debbie wants to give back and serves as a model for other young female immigrants. When she attends vendor shows she offers work to women who are unemployed or underemployed. “In the future, I want to be able to offer full time employment to women who don’t have experience but are skilled,” she says. “You don’t need a degree to sell, you just need to believe in what you are selling.”
Debbie is living the self-employed life and is proud of her journey to get there. “Everyone feels lost. I was lost for a long time,” she says, “The secret is if you have a dream, just do it. Take action. If you believe in something, with the resources you can make it happen.”
Are you ready to turn your dream of being self employed into reality? Learn how Momentum can help!